The turf on the athletic fields in Cranberry often would get beaten up from high traffic.
But Rebecca Auchter, township grounds-maintenance manager and an Ohio State Turfgrass Management graduate, found a way to solve the problem.
She decided to try out a product by Holganix — a Glen Mills-based producer of plant nutrients — after the team had taken the quality of the fields as far as they could.
The move paid off.
The grounds-maintenance team, a division of Cranberry’s public-works department, beat out a dozen nationwide entries to win Holganix’s “Roots for You!” second annual competition in the sports turf division.
The prize comes just a year after the Pittsburgh Pirates won the inaugural contest in the same category.
Kaity Ersek, inbound marketing specialist with Holanix, said judging for the “Roots for You” competition centered on the depth and density of grass roots grown using Holganix, an organic bionutritional product that uses natural microorganisms instead of chemicals to promote strong, healthy turf.
“It allows sports turf managers, golf courses, volunteer companies, anyone using fertilizer products to reduce their fertilizer input by up to 75 percent and pesticides up to 25 percent,” Ersek said.
Auchter said the ground-maintenance department takes care of a little more than 330 acres throughout Cranberry, including three parks, the municipal building, two fire stations, the islands in the middle of Route 228 and Freedom Road, and various other township-owned properties.